Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2020: Sleepers from top model that predicted Kenta Maeda’s strong season

The worldwide coronavirus pandemic has delayed the start of the Major League Baseball season, but that shouldn’t stop savvy owners from doing their homework trying to identify the biggest 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers. Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge is reportedly healing from a rib injury, but where should he be in your 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings? Meanwhile, Red Sox hurler Chris Sale will undergo Tommy John surgery, potentially opening the door for 2020 Fantasy baseball breakouts in Boston’s rotation.

Don’t try to finalize your 2020 Fantasy baseball strategy without a little help. Success in Fantasy baseball means finding value in lesser-known players during the middle and late rounds of drafts. Before you go on the clock, check out the 2020 Fantasy baseball cheat sheets and rankings from the proven computer model at SportsLine.

Last season, SportsLine’s Projection Model identified several top Fantasy baseball sleepers, including Kenta Maeda. The 31-year-old was the No. 52 starting pitcher drafted on average in CBS Sports Fantasy baseball leagues in 2019, but wound up returning value as a starter and reliever. Maeda went 10-8 with a 4.04 ERA and struck out 169 while also earning three saves later in the year to finish as the No. 41 starting pitcher in standard leagues.

The team at SportsLine was all over Maeda as a Fantasy sleeper from the start. Their model had him listed much higher than expert consensus rankings, and anyone who listened to their advice was well positioned for a league title. 

Their model is powered by the same people who powered projections for all three major Fantasy sites. And that same group is sharing its 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings and cheat sheets over at SportsLine, helping you find Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts long before your competition. Their cheat sheets, available for leagues on many major sites, are updated multiple times every day. Any time an injury occurs or there’s a change on a depth chart, the team at SportsLine updates its Fantasy baseball cheat sheets.

In fact, when it came to ranking players in Fantasy football, SportsLine’s Projection Model beat human experts last season when there were big differences in ranking. And the model was the closest to the hole overall, meaning it best pinpointed where every player would finish each week. That could literally be the difference between winning your league or going home empty-handed.

Top 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers

One of the 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers the model is all over: Cubs catcher Josh Phegley. The eight-year veteran recorded several career-highs in 2019 with the Oakland A’s, including 12 home runs, 18 doubles and 62 RBIs. Phegley also played in a career-best 106 games in 2019 and scored a career-best 44 runs. He also caught Mike Fiers’ second career no-hitter in May, but was non-tendered by Oakland in December and became a free agent. 

Phegley caught on in Chicago with a minor-league contract and impressed enough during Spring Training to move ahead of backup catcher Victor Catarini in many observers’ eyes. While Phegley won’t supplant Wilson Contreras anytime soon, the Cubs are high on Phegley’s pitch-framing improvements during spring workouts. The model is high on Phegley, ranking him as the No. 10 catcher in MLB, ahead of players like Wilson Ramos, Tom Murphy and Robinson Chirinos despite all three having better ADPs.

Another sleeper that SportsLine’s Fantasy baseball rankings 2020 are extremely high on: Diamondbacks left fielder David Peralta. The seven-year veteran hit .275 with 12 homers, 29 doubles and 57 RBIs in 2019. Peralta’s season was cut to 99 games in 2019 because of a shoulder injury that required surgery in August, an injury he dealt with all season and that required three stints on the injured list.

Peralta still won a Gold Glove a year ago and hit a career-high 30 homers in 2018. The Diamondbacks love Peralta so much that they inked him to a $22 million contract extension during the offseason. The model is also high on Peralta, ranking him as the No. 9 left fielder, ahead of players like Giancarlo Stanton, Andrew Benintendi and Kyle Schwarber, despite all three having a better 2020 Fantasy baseball ADP.

How to find proven 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings

SportsLine is also high on a first baseman with a Fantasy baseball ADP outside the top 20 that finishes ahead of studs like Josh Bell and Edwin Encarnacion as a top-five player. This pick could be the difference in winning your league or going home with nothing. 

So which 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers should you snatch in your draft? And which undervalued first baseman can help you win a championship? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy Baseball rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Kenta Maeda’s huge breakout last season, and find out.

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